Liverpool

They Simply Didn’t Cut the Mustard

Phil Brown opted for a new career in call centres

Bad managers are two a penny and every club in the land can boast a litany of their own abject failures in the role. Who could forget the mess that David Platt made at Nottingham Forest or Alan Ball leading five different clubs to the ignominy of relegation.

The trend of misguided appointments and appalling displays of tactical ineptitude has shown no signs of abating in the last couple of years and so I’ve picked three bosses who have fallen way short of the mark in top flight football.

Phil Brown – Hull City

When Hull became the nation’s surprise package by sneaking into the Premiership in 2008, Brown had seemingly assembled a decent team with talented players such as Giovanni. He revelled in the limelight and annoyed the hell out of everybody for openly taking full credit for their escapades only halfway through the season.

He stopped just short of declaring himself as the second coming of Christ before the Tigers spectacularly imploded and rapidly plummeted towards the bottom three. He was less than professional in his treatment of the players, notably conducting his halftime team talk on the pitch at Manchester City, before singing triumphantly on the last day of the season as his charges stayed up by the skin of their teeth.

His lust for the camera overshadowed his players before he finally paid the price for being a complete and utter failure by being placed on indefinite gardening leave towards the end of last season.

Graham Souness – Liverpool and Newcastle Graham Souness struck fear into his opponents as a player but proved a far more terrifying prospect for the clubs he managed. After experiencing a measure of success in his first post at Rangers, his managerial career has been nothing but a catalogue of disasters. In an atrocious spell at Liverpool, poor tactics and ill-judged signings brought one of the most barren spells in history for one of Europe’s most successful sides. Failure has continued to define him with instantly forgettable stints at Galatasary, Southampton, Torino and Benfica before he lurched to a new low at Ewood Park. At Blackburn he successfully managed to drive away Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Damien Duff and Keith Gillespie with his appalling man-management skills before unbelievably being headhunted by Newcastle. He managed to squander over £50m on Tyneside on sub-standard players such as Jean-Alain Boumsong and Albert Luque and force out even more talented players before finally being given the chop in 2006. Curiously he has not been offered another job since.

Glenn Roeder – West Ham

Glenn Roeder was quite a remarkable manager in some ways – it needed a very special man to preside over the relegation of a side containing David James, Joe Cole, Fredi Kanoute, Paulo Di Canio and Jermaine Defoe, as Roeder did at Upton Park in 2003. He jumped back into the saddle fairly quickly following a lengthy battle with his health to take over the reins at St James’ Park in 2006 but proved to be equally clueless in the North East. He was forced out after less than 18 months in the job with the Toon languishing at the wrong end of the table.

Who are your contenders for the worst-ever managers?

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